personal opinion is NO. I started using RIT Dyes in
the very beginning, before I knew where to buy the
real Fiber Reactive Dyes. My friends and I made a
lot of shirts with RIT dye for a class back in high
school. But all of the dye washed out over time. I'm
not blaming the RIT dye for not being good enough.
I'm guessing the reason the dyes faded was
because we didn't know how to use them correctly. I
have read that if the dye is boiling it will stick
better, but I had moved on to Fiber Reactive Dyes by
the time I found that out. For me I'm not interested
in trying them again. I'm pretty much hooked on
price I think you get a lot more dye for your money
when you buy Procion MX. The off set of this is that
the manufactures of the Procion, recommend you use
additional chemicals with the dyes to make them
stick better and more evenly. So the price could
balance out to be about the same.
don't like to make tie dyes or use any kind of
chemicals in my kitchen. I have a small area in my
basement where I make all of the tie dyes.
choose to use RIT dyes, I will not be able to help
you with any issues you might run into pertaining to
one circumstance I can think of to use the RIT dye
is if you just have to make some tie dyes, but you
don't have the Procion dyes, and you can't wait for them
to arrive, RIT dyes might be the way to go
temporarily. But just so you know some hobby stores
such as Hobby Lobby actually carry a small selection
of Procion Dyes. I have recently noticed tie dye
kits for sale at Walmart in the crafts section. So you might look there before you
decide to go with RIT. It's worth the extra effort.
do choose to use RIT Dyes, be prepared for they dyes
to wash out.
Rubber Bands vs. String
There is something I want to
talk about that keeps coming up in the comments sections
of the YouTube videos. People are asking lots of
questions about why this or why that. Each time someone
posts one of these questions I move closer to writing
this post. Well today I have reached that point.
Something that you should know if you have lots of
questions about making tie dyes is that there are many
ways to make tie dyes. For some tie dyes I may only know
of one way to make the pattern and get the results I'm
looking for. And that is the core idea of the point I
want to make. Some times you might be able to do it 5
different ways and get basically the same results. Then
there are other times when each of those 5 ways may
slightly change the outcome.
The one issue that keeps
coming up is the rubber bands or the string issue. In my
DVD series the Tie Dye Crash Course I show you how to
make the 8 different patterns. I use string to hold the
folds in place. Most of the time I like to use the
string, but not always. There are plenty of times where
I hold the folds with rubber bands. I can get them in
place much faster than the string. This is the biggest
positive for using the rubber bands. My logic for
choosing which method to use is determined by the number
of folds and the height of each of each fold. When the
folds are tall or there are not too many folds rubber
bands can be fine to use. But there are other cases
where adding 1 rubber band would crash the whole series
There are still other cases
where I don't like to use rubber bands. I might be able
to get the folds bound together with some rubber bands
and the rubber bands are holding the folds just fine.
But I will need to use a tool to flip the cotton over.
This tool might be a piece of cardboard, but non the
less, I can't just use my hands to turn the tie dye
over. The action of picking the cotton up with no
support will cause all the folds to collapse under the
pressure of the rubber bands. Over the years I found
that many of the fold patterns will fall into one of
these situations. And I got tired of fixing the folds,
so I have just adapted to using the string for most of
my patterns. Now I also have to take some credit away
from the string when I fail to use enough string or get
it tight enough and the folds collapse when I move the
piece. So using the string or the rubber bands both have
pros & cons. The idea I want you to get is that YOU have
to determine what YOU need to do to get what YOU want.
Procion MX Fiber Dyes
Many times people are asking me about the chemicals I use
to make tie dyes. I for the most part use the same brand each time. Iím
comfortable with the products and the method for ordering them on-line. Use the
same formula to mix the dyes each time. I use Procion MX with Urea and presoak
the cotton in soda ash. I discuss the exact formula in complete detail in the Tie
Dye Crash Course.
Many people want to know if
they can skip chemicals and still have their tie dyes
work. Some also want to use different chemicals in place
of the recommended ones. This is all up to them. I donít
have any answers for them. I have a formula I use and
thatís it. I stick to the chemicals and the amounts.
The tie dye kits make the experience a much better one
when youíre not sure about mixing they dyes and doing all the manual mixing. The
kits come with some basic instructions you can use to get started. My video, the
tie dye crash course, will be useful in your new adventure. The video will teach
you about the chemicals, but with a kit this info is more for your use later.
The video also covers the concepts around folding, tying, and coloring the
If you are considering giving tie dye a try, I suggest you
buy a tie dye kit to get started.
Good luck and have a blast!
How to make a certain tie dye pattern?
The best way for me to help you with this, is for you to
buy one to all of my inexpensive tie dye instructions. I have
already prepared with all the instructions and visual aids
you will need to learn how to make the pattern. There are 18
tie dye patterns that I teach.
Click the above pattern to go the video
that teaches it.
What if none of the
instructions teach the pattern I want
Most of the time, either the customer can figure out how
to make the pattern after watching my instructions, or the
customer will contact me directly and say the following:
"I have purchased all of your videos, and I still can't
figure out how to make this pattern." I respond to this
with high enthusiasm, and I try to help the person as much
as I can, by writing them the instructions in an email. I've
taken pictures and sent them. I've even gone as far as to
make a small video to aid in the person's learning.
So, if you still can't figure it out after you have
watched all my videos, which is next to never, email me and
I will personally guide you through it.
What is tie dye batching and how does it work?
I like to use the term batching when I'm making lots of
tie dyes. This is the only technique I have where I can
duplicate a design. So if I need to make identical tie dye
designs for more than one shirt or tapestry, batching is the
technique to use. What is batching you ask? Batching is the
process of completing 1 step for as many garments as you
have to tie dye, then move on to the next step, and finish
all the garments for that step.
Lets say I need to make 5 rainbow swirl patterns with
black stripes. This is what I would do.
Soak all the cotton in the Soda Ash water solution.
Ring out all the Soda Ash solution from each piece
Lay one shirt out, spin it up, and tie it.
Repeat step 3 for all of the garments you are going
to tie dye.
Put all the folded tie dyes on your dyeing table.
Pick a color to start with, then apply that color,
in the shape of a triangle pointing to the center of the
cotton, to all of the garments.
Repeat step 6 for each color.
At this point, side A of all the garments should be
Flip all the garments over, so side B is facing you.
Color all of side B black for each garment.
So this is batching. I find this to be the best way to
create identical tie dye designs. I used to call this
technique the assembly line. I have been using this for a
long time. There are also other ways that I use the batching
technique. Another way is where I'm not making identical
designs, but I am making many designs.
The way to use the batching technique when making many
different designs is to fold up 1 design at a time. Make
sure to mark the cotton if you need to. You can mark on the
cotton or use the rubber bands to help remind you what to
do. You might want to put some notes on paper, and put those
notes with the garment. Normally I can tell by looking at
the folded garment, what it is. This is not because I can
see the design, even though it is all folded. But I remember
folding it and know what it looks like.
Tie Dye Thoughts
Iím really glad you like the first
video. Thanks! Thatís a good question youíve asked. Iíve not made
any Celtic Crosses, but I was looking at some. If youíre going for
the white lines around the cross, the Star video will teach you how
I make the white lines. Iím sure they will work for the cross too.
The Star video wonít teach you how to fold the cross, but the
general idea is similar to the star fold. Once you can get the lines
youíll be able to use the technique on many different patterns. So
after that, it all boils down to the folding. That's where the
butterfly video is helpful. In that video I show how to make folds
that I havenít shown in the other videos. The butterfly video
probably wonít help you fold the cross, but would help you with
other folding techniques.
I'm sure that with the video and
practice you will get much better! I have a huge box of old Tie Dyes
I made that weren't any good. Also in the box are quite a few that
turned out good, but were on old shirts and sheets, because I was
practicing. It's really not a waist to practice on old clothes. You
might spend a little more on dye, but you can off set that some, by
using only enough dye to see if it works. Also I have made many
patterns on paper towels to check them.
Just having the drive to make them helps
a lot, but visualizing what I want helps me the most. I usually put
more into the "what am I going to make" rather than "how".
Most of the "How" comes to me once I know "What".
I feel confident that watching me make
the Tie Dyes will help it "click" better for you!
Are you looking for something fun to do? How about a weekend project for yourself or a family project? Maybe you are looking for a party theme or some kind of group project with your friends or classmates. Have you considered making Tie Dyes?
Making color filled shirts, skirts, sheets, or dresses are an easy and enjoyable thing to do. You can have lots of fun being creative and getting a surprise when itís over. You could say making Tie Dyes is like a box of chocolates. You never know what youíre going to get until you get it.
Using the right dye is essential when making Tie Dyes. Why would you spend your money and time making Tie Dyes when they are going to fade after the first wash? Procion MX is the standard dye to use so your colors are bright and permanent.
You donít need to know how to make Tie Dyes to have fun making them. Tie Dyes can be anything from totally random and blotchy to precise and beautiful. I like to say that if youíre happy about it,
The overall process is simple: choose the colors you want to use, mix them up, and prepare the 100% cotton with the chemical Soda Ash. Then fold the cotton into some pattern and secure it, so it wonít fall apart if you move it. Then apply the dyes in the order your want, wait a few hours if you have time. Then wash the new Tie Dye a couple times and youíre done! Walla, youíve made your own Tie Dye.
You can buy Tie Dye kits that have many of the tools and chemicals youíll need. The kits can range in size from a few shirts to a couple hundred shirts that can be dyed. Many times not only will you get all the dyes and chemicals you need, but also some of the main tools you can use. Squirt bottles, gloves, dust masks, and rubber bands. The tools that come with the kits are to get you started and work fine if youíre not going to be too critical of the outcome. If youíre an experienced Tie Dye maker or as you progress in your skills, you may find the squirt bottles and rubber bands arenít cutting it for you. The tools used to apply the dyes and hold the cotton together can be changed to get different outcomes. But I must
say that just changing the tools wont change the outcome. The different tools enable you to color and hold the cotton differently.
If youíre going to make Tie Dyes and want to learn more about how itís done by the professionals you can buy the
Tie Dye Crash Course. The crash course teaches you how to mix and make all the dyes, prep the cotton, fold and tie the cotton, and all the basics about the process. The TDCC also teaches viewers how to make 10 great patterns. Trying to figure these patterns out on your own can be fun, but might take you years to actually get right. Thatís why the TDCC is so important. Why spend lots of valuable money and time making Tie Dyes that youíre not happy with. Spend 85 minutes preparing on how to make great Tie Dyes right out of the gate. Some examples of the patterns you will learn in the Tie Dye Crash Course are Swirls, Stripes, Hearts, Peace Signs, Clovers, and Multi-Patterns. The TDCC is essential for any new Tie Dyer. It will help you get the most out of your chemicals, tools, time, and money!
It helps the dyes absorb into the cotton better is the
answer most people find on the internet. I think this topic
can be looked at in 2 ways.
The first interpretation would be; the dyes will get
absorb better causing them to actually look brighter or
have more color once the cotton has been washed.
The second interpretation would be; the dyes are
physically absorbed into the cotton faster when they are
I believe the reason to use soda ash is because they
dyes absorb into the cotton faster when they are
How can I make the tie dye colors brighter?
There are many things that can be done to ensure you are
getting the brightest colors possible when making tie dyes.
One of the many tips is to make sure you are using fresh
dyes made with fresh chemicals.
Original Tie Dye Crash Course video, I cover many other
techniques I use, and the formulas I use to make the end
product, the tie dyes, as bright as possible.
How to prevent the dyes from going everywhere?
There are numerous techniques to control the dyes.One of
them is to make sure you apply the dyes with caution. Be
careful when your putting the dyes onto the cotton, so not
to put too much dye on too fast.
Tie Dyes created for sale, you will notice, are all different even
if the patterns are the same. So when you buy a Tie Dye from Phat
Dyes, rest assured that you will have the only one like it. Many
Tie Dyes look similar, but after close examination you will notice
they are unique.